March 31, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 400 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In his annual state-of-the-nation address today, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called for an immediate cease-fire in the war in Ukraine and warned that Western support of Ukraine increases the likelihood of nuclear war. Responding to Lukashenko’s call for a cease-fire, Russian officials said the “special military operation” in Ukraine would continue as the only way for Russia to achieve its goals. [more]
  • U.S. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said yesterday that intelligence suggests Russia is pursuing a deal to provide North Korea with food aid in exchange for weapons to be used in its invasion of Ukraine. [more]
  • The All-England Lawn Tennis Club has dropped its Ukraine-related ban on Russian and Belarusian player participation in the Wimbledon tennis tournament, allowing athletes from the countries to compete this year as "neutrals." [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | A Manhattan grand jury returned an indictment against former President Donald Trump yesterday, making him the first former U.S. president ever charged in a criminal proceeding. [more]

  • The exact charges against Trump remain unclear, as the indictment remains sealed, but are reported to be related to his business operations and alleged hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Trump attorneys and Manhattan district attorney’s office officials say they are coordinating on a plan for Trump to surrender for processing and a court appearance on Tuesday.

HOAX THREATS | Federal prosecutors say Ashton Connor Garcia, 20, of Bremerton, Washington, was arrested yesterday and faces at least 10 felony counts related to placing hoax calls about bomb threats and other emergencies to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada. [more]

U.S. HEALTHCARE | U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor yesterday blocked some provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that mandated health insurance plans cover certain preventive care, including screenings for certain cancers and other condition and pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV, at no cost to patients. [more]

KENTUCKY | U.S. Army investigators at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, say all nine soldiers aboard two 101st Airborne Division Black Hawk helicopters were killed when their aircraft crashed during a training exercise Wednesday night. Officials say the crash is under investigation and have declined to specify whether the helicopters collided in the air. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Department of Labor reported yesterday that initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose to 198,000 in the week ended March 25 — up 7,000 from the previous week. [full report] [more]

U.S. AND IRAN | The International Court of Justice ruled yesterday that the U.S., as part of a series of anti-terrorism sanctions, illegally froze some assets of Iranian companies, but declined to claim jurisdiction over $1.75 billion in related frozen assets from Iran’s central bank [more]

NATO | Finland’s application to join the NATO alliance was ratified yesterday by Turkey, which was the final NATO member not to have already given its approval. Turkey has still not approved Sweden’s membership, saying not enough has been done by Swedish officials to crack down on people Turkey considers terrorists. [more]

INDIA | Authorities in the city of Indore, in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, say the bodies of at least 35 people have been recovered from inside a well at a Hindu temple after the structure over the well collapsed yesterday during a religious ritual. [more]

CLIMATE POLICY | European Union negotiators reportedly reached a provisional deal yesterday to increase renewable energy consumption in the 27-nation bloc to 42.5% of total energy consumption by 2030 — up from the current goal of 32%. [more]

MALAYSIA | Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will serve out the remainder of his 12-year prison sentence on graft and corruption charges after Malaysia's top court refused to review its previous decision to uphold Razor’s conviction, saying the politician was “the author of his own misfortune” and that “no man in this land is above the law.” [more]

INDIGINOUS RIGHTS | The Vatican yesterday formally repudiated the “Doctrine of Discovery” — a legal concept backed by papal rulings dating back to the 15th century that legitimized the European colonial-era seizure of lands in Africa and the Americas from indigenous peoples. [more]

SUDAN | Sudanese state media reports that at least 10 mine workers died yesterday when the roof of the Jebel Al-Ahmar gold mine collapsed in northern Sudan. [more]

BRITISH TRADE | U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced today that Britain has reached a deal to join the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade group, which includes member nations Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. [more]

JAPANESE TECH | Japan’s Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry said today that it will restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment that could be used for military purposes. The Ministry did not specify China as a target of the restrictions, but the move is seen as being in alignment with U.S. policies aimed at slowing China's technological and military advances. [more]

NCAA BASKETBALL | Finalists for the Wooden Award for men’s and women's college basketball players of the year have been announced. Men's finalists include Drew Timme of Gonzaga, Zach Edey of Purdue, Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana, Houston’s Marcus Sasser, and Jalen Wilson of Kansas. Finalists for the women's award include Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, South Carolina’s Aliya Boston, Cameron Brink of Stanford, Mackenzie Holmes of Indiana, and Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1889, the 984-foot-tall Eiffel Tower, a wrought iron technological masterpiece created by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, was officially inaugurated in Paris. [more history]

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